UnionAID

South Asia

Worker manufacturing rubber gloves at factory

Claims of Modern Slavery Prompt First Project in Nepal

Demand for rubber gloves because of Covid-19 saw profits soar at Top Glove, the world’s largest rubber glove maker. But this drew attention to labour abuses in their Malaysian factories, including forced labour and debt bondage. Campaigners raised these issues in the media and pushed governments to ban Top Glove products. New Zealand has been …

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Members of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Union calling for increased maternity leave entitlements for International Working Women's Day

Wins for Garment Workers During COVID Downturn

Bangladesh: Bolstered by labour rights training workshops for National Garment Workers Federation delegates during Covid-19, union members from eight factories submitted collective demands to owners to enforce maternity leave provisions, to ensure safe workplaces and protect jobs. These new skills were also used at Masud Apparels to successfully fight off an attempt by the employer …

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Lives Improved for Thousands of Workers

Manoharam from the Narikuravar Craft Cooperative beading a necklace The lives and livelihoods of nearly three thousand Dalit and Tribal workers and their families in the Madurai area have been significantly improved through their active involvement with the Tamil Nadu Labour Union (TNLU). Projects funded by UnionAID have seen 2,790 scavengers, cobblers, basket weavers, street …

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$US9.5 MILLION BACK PAY FOR BANGLADESH GARMENT WORKERS

Concern that garment members were having their employment terminated unlawfully because of the impact of Covid-19 on the industry, prompted the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) to take action. With no social security nor savings because of their low wages, these mainly women workers had nothing to fall back on when they were laid off, …

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Changing lives and livelihoods in Tamil Nadu

Shrinking debt and growing incomes are the new reality for 580 Dalit and Tribal workers from the hills and slums around Madurai, according to survey data collected in the field. These workers are all members of six new workers’ cooperatives established by our project partner, the Tamil Nadu Labour Union. The benefits of working collectively …

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Amirul Haque, General Secretary of the NGWF delivery emergency relief to union members during the Covid-19 pandemic

Crisis support for Bangladeshi garment workers’ union

With UnionAID’s support, the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) of Bangladesh had been increasing union membership and strengthening collective bargaining when the pandemic hit.  Nearly 5,000 new members were recruited in 2019. Now the union needs help to sustain its organsation and defend garment workers’ rights as membership drops and workers face long-term hardship. NGWF …

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Dalit Workers Gaining Freedom

Since 2011 the focus of our work in India with the Tamil Nadu Labour Union (TNLU) has been on establishing co-operatives with Dalit and Tribal workers so they can gain independence from money lenders and middlemen that have kept them trapped in a cycle of poverty. Over 2,175 men and women have joined these small …

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Lockdown in Tamil Nadu Pushing Informal Workers to the Edge

The vulnerability of India’s 450 million informal workers has been exposed as the nation entered a 21-day lockdown in March. These men and women rely on their day-to-day earnings to support their families with little opportunity to save and no government welfare to support them. For these working people a 21-day lockdown presents them with …

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